an Aotearoa poetry journal | ISSN 2744-3248

Poems by Trevor Landers

The Old Town Hall Cafe, Urenui

Trevor Landers

Published on
page 43 of Tarot #3
(Dec 2021)

Past the mermaid’s bicycle blue
the foyer
frothing with intrigue
hinting at cornucopias inside
the main parlour
for very high tea
(authentic hand clotted-cream supplied)
a Madhatter’s rendezvous
crocheted blankets on every chair
teacups awaiting parchment to slake
the travelling palate wetted
whistles too
A Cornish pastie!
A Scotched egg!
………..with encrusted pork crackling!
Jacket potato extravaganza
Wunderbar! cries an invisible visitor
Tea, sir? 38 to choose from…..
Scone, sir? 1 of 130
Guinness World Record in the baking
Apricot and cream cheese?
Excellent choice, sir.
The table near talks
of bariatric surgery &
Mt Messenger roadworks
family histories on a plate
& we munch with relish
a church of warm eccentrics
genuflecting towards the scone board
a record nearly clutched by hand
this kaleidoscope room
eyes not knowing
where to look next.

Upper Mohakatino Valley

Trevor Landers

Published on
page 44 of Tarot #3
(Dec 2021)

The serpentine lane
sidewinding up the valley
fallen logs silvered by time
are the slain soldiers of the tops
no surrender has ever been signed

the river of tea
leeched by native flora & deforestation
(farming’s relentless fantasies
of covet and conquer)
scour the hills, muddy truth

these taciturn hills
with sporadic stands of native trees
say nothing; the poet must be kanuka
kauri-father, rimu-mother, speak for these brethren
I am the hills—I shall never erode
find me then, Upper Mohakatino Valley.

Approaching Gully Farm

Trevor Landers

Published on
page 45 of Tarot #3
(Dec 2021)

We take the turning
just before where the Mohakatino River
passes in chicanes into the Tasman
baches clumped like limpets around a rock
at the top of the valley road

we passed the turquoise embassy
with its great trees of moss
three flashing kingfishers
observe the pilgrim’s progress
high in the canopy of kahikatea

The river itself, silent and unbowed
dark and silted, the shy keeper of secrets
wends and winds to the heart of the matter
long after we go, it shall remain stoic.

deeper in, the tarsal track might have
been specifically laid for us, a tranquil byway,
the little lane engenders a smile,
at a country oasis, by graduations,
we are unwound.

A Pigeon at Puke Ariki Plaza

Trevor Landers

Published on
page 54 of Tarot #1
(Dec 2020)

A solitary, self-satisfied pigeon
preens her burgeoning flank, lavender pink breast,
contentedly crooning to herself.

She grips the mottled, lichened ridge tiles of
the dark basalt stone terrace,
patiently, scrounging every last morsel.

She plots her next move, surreptitious forager,
twitching head, scanning 270°, furtive explorations,
the Huatoki Stream will offer no easy dinners either.